Gracie Philosophy

Rolling With The Opposite Sex

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Q. This lesson has some great advice, particularly with regard to how a smaller and weaker person can deal with "smashers" and other "undesirables," but it's kind of ironic that Renner and Eve almost completely downplay and ignore the sexual element of a man's hesitation to roll with a woman. Didn't Renner and Eve get to know each other on the mat? Aren't they on their honeymoon in this video? That's great when we're talking about two singles becoming a great couple together. It gets a lot more problematic when there are reports on national news of a well-known "super model" married to a famous football player having an affair with her jiu-jitsu instructor (true or untrue, the reports are damaging for everyone involved). Then there's the "me-too" movement that also happened since this video was made. The sexual element and risks are real and deserve serious attention. Downplaying them doesn't benefit anyone.
Detroit (5/26/2024 9:17 PM)
A. The intent of the video is not to downplay the existence of sexual element, but to address most common aspects of this situation. While the "sexual element and risks" may be present, most people most of the time will focus on the training and suppress any distracting impulses. If these impulses affect the training, then it's a different issue that we address in our instructor training.
Gracie University 1
Q. My first time seeing a female at a bjj academy I didn’t want to roll with her because I thought it wouldn’t be as intense or I would not learn . Glad to see this and have. Anew perspective that help myself and someone else
Felipe 6 (3/24/2022 8:13 PM)
A. Thanks!
Gracie University 1
Q. Not really a question. I train with the officers at my department with GST. I have caught myself being that "smasher" mentality when rolling with male and female officers. I've taken the stance in the past of "they need to learn to survive this on the street", and have seen demoralizing effects on people in general. The video really opened my eyes to how to fix this. Awesome video guys, thank you for all you do!!!
Paul1775 (2/18/2022 7:45 AM)
A. You're welcome. Keep up the good work!
Gracie University 1
Q. What would be your advice for someone who doesn't feel comfortable rolling with the opposite gender period? Is there a way to tell everyone at your school that you aren't comfortable with it and not make things awkward?
RoyKnight (1/24/2022 2:43 PM)
A. Start by telling the instructor and let the instructor assign your partners. Regardless of gender, it's important to do what you need to do to feel comfortable even if it's awkward.
Gracie University 1
Q. There are many women - tough Jiu Jitsu practitioners - that role regularly with men, although there are none at my academy. What percentage of women who train Combatives actually try Mastercycle sparring, before giving up Jiu Jitsu ?
Ghisoni (12/17/2021 4:58 PM)
A. It's a small percentage, but we're working to increase it.
Gracie University 1
Q. That was a pleasant surprise. Really well done.
Vincent Virgilio (11/16/2021 10:54 PM)
A. Thanks!
Gracie University 1
Q. I have no question However, I just wanted to genuinely say thank you for making this video and for posting it. I didn’t know that it existed until today while I was looking through my online account, and I am so thankful that I watched it.
Jean.Jessica (9/20/2021 3:18 PM)
A. You're welcome!
Gracie University 1
Q. If a man...a partner is to strong or aggressive should you tell them or ask that they use less strength. It's actullay kickboxing not my JJ in this case but I'm shy to tell them and when we do drills I keep eating my own wrist. It's knees with Thai kick pads. Last class I just stopped class and told them I was too exhausted but in reality they were too strong for me and I wasn't comfortable that they didn't decrease strength after the first knee but continued to feed me my wrists. :( or should I say something to the instructor. I don't want to whine but I'm mother comfortable with them.
Naada (4/11/2021 9:56 PM)
A. Regardless of your gender, you should always inform your partner if their actions are causing pain or potential injury.
Gracie University 1
Q. I come to BJJ from a Wing Chun background where have learned to appreciate finesse, leverage, & proper body mechanics over brute strength. That said, I really enjoy training with women & find that I can often focus more on technical details when training with them. I do tend to feel awkward asking them to partner with me though as I don’t want to be perceived as a creep. This was a great discussion & I appreciate hearing Eve voice that women typically appreciate being asked to partner up & don’t get creeped out by it.
ACJ74 (3/22/2021 7:15 PM)
A. Thanks for the feedback!
Gracie University 1
Q. Desirables: 1. Challenging, 2. Unemotional, 3. Helpful, 4.Encouragement-Initiative, was that the 4 desirables? great job, just giving positive comment
GFJOE (3/16/2021 2:56 PM)
A. Thanks for the feedback!
Gracie University 1
Q. Undesirables: 1. "Smashers", 2. "Stenchers", 3. "Sensei's", 4. "Snipers". Thank you mentioning this
GFJOE (3/16/2021 2:15 PM)
A. Thanks for the feedback!
Gracie University 1
Q. I defiantly feel that angle where everyone pairs up and me as a girl being the last one left. although rolling with guys does not bother me because of the fact that I grew up with 3 brothers and wrestled with them.
Hannah Harrell (12/7/2020 1:18 PM)
A. Yep, we see it often.
Gracie University 1
Q. A very interesting discussion with great tips. One point though, there are takedowns that require our arms wrapped around our opponents waist with our hips in close and heads on their chest. This is uncomfortable for we men so I am sure it is even more so for the women. Many women I know who have seen but not tried GJJ (or similar) said they would not want to do such moves with a man, especially one they did not know. I'd be interested in your comments on this. Many thanks.
DharmeshD (11/21/2020 3:14 PM)
A. If you or your partner are uncomfortable with the move, then don't do it. Consider bringing in another partner for techniques that make you or your partner uncomfortable.
Gracie University 1
Q. Just wanted to pass on some of my experience in dealing with "smashers".. avoidance is not a great strategy as you aren't dealing with the problem, you're just passing it on to someone else. Going hard against them is also not a great strategy, then you just end up in an arms race until someone gets hurt. What worked for me (after the previous methods failed), was to keep escalating my feedback until I got through to them. "Hey.. relax, this is training not competition" "I'm a bit tired today so I'm just going easy" "(joking) Careful! .. I'd like to go home in one piece!" "(serious) I come here to learn, not to get injured" "Sorry, but I'm not training with you.. you don't look after your partner." It's tough to be that blunt, but in the end we care about them getting the message, not about hurting their feelings. I hope this helps... cheers
Morgs88 (9/30/2020 6:49 AM)
A. Thanks. That's a good guide.
Gracie University 1
Q. I thought men usually don't like training with women because they'd rather have someone their size/strength.
xuming (3/31/2020 2:55 PM)
A. That's likely true in some cases. There are advantages to training with partners of all shapes and sizes as each presents unique opportunities for exploring the technique.
Gracie University 1
Q. I don't recall much discussion about the stencher. Did I miss something in the video? As a female, I don't want to be the one to tell a male that he should wash his gi EVERY time he rolls, and take a shower before class. But on the other hand, I don't want to talk behind his back. He's a nice guy. How do I approach him (if I have to) - what do I say? Or if I shouldn't, do CTC instructors care about this? I feel very strongly about it, mostly from a health perspective - but also comfort. The odor of old sweat and the sour mildew smell from a laundry pile where the gi might have lain for a week Disgusting. No telling what's on that gi or how long since its last washing. What's a lady to do?
JessiH (11/16/2019 12:19 PM)
A. Absolutely bring it to the attention of an instructor. A dirty uniform violates the CTC standards for cleanliness. Sometimes, however, a student will wear a freshly laundered uniform and the "sour" smell will only activate once they start to sweat it's clean, but it smells. Several remedies exist - vinegar soak, special sports detergents, and OxyClean are commonly cited for solving the problem but often it means the student has to retire the gi.
Gracie University 1
Q. Happy to have this found this video. I was at my gym last week talking to another white belt that is a woman. We were getting along and talking about our experiences at the gym so far. I was really hesitant to ask her to train for the exact same reasons Rener spoke of at the beginning of the video. To my surprise, she asked me, and it was a very productive roll. She got me with a really nice Americana. Showed me a nice hip escape too. Thank you guys for helping demystify this tough subject.
WhiteBeltMachado (10/12/2019 6:15 AM)
A. Awesome! Thank you for the feedback!!
Q. This video has helped me tremendously, thank you.
Katiee (1/29/2019 7:51 PM)
A. Awesome! Thanks for the feedback!
Q. I dont think it was covered in the video, but some tips from the newly weds about being sensitive to you LIFE partner would be interesting. I know if I go home and start excitedly yabbering to my wife about how I did this great move on a female, she isnt going to hear the bit about the technique, she's going to hear about the excitement, the female, the position I was in with her, the closeness, the 'buddy'. Do you have any suggestions here?
Ssbird (1/23/2019 7:05 PM)
A. Don't go into so much detail. You don't need to specify the gender of your training partners it's irrelevant.
Q. We all need to accept that ladies generally progress faster, they can't rely on strength so in order to not lose, they perfect the technique, they're strength is the absence of strength so to speak, they can't rely on size/strength/speed so rely solely on technical ability, reminds me of someone else. This is just my opinion, obviously it doesn't apply to all woman but a vast majority. Plus at the beginning it helps woman to have the opportunity to roll with guys, as in a street situation there attacker will most likely be male.
Edoyle18 (11/14/2018 6:23 PM)
A. Thanks for the feedback!
Q. Best advice about having to train with an "undesirable sensei"?
SkrockiJ (8/11/2018 1:45 AM)
A. Find a new school.
Q. So, emotional issues. I get excited when I get a technique right. I roll with my husband and when I do a good job I'm ecstatic. Should I not be outwardly uh..giddy, when I get to the blue belt level? When I roll with men should I keep my excitement to myself? Would that be disrespectful? Also, I dont know why, but i giggle when I wrestle. It's fun. So, would other men feel disrespected by that? I'm in the empowerment course with the intent on joining regular classes when I'm done. Thanks for having created that class. I would never have thought this was something I would enjoy with out it.
Ebony Bordelon (8/8/2018 8:56 AM)
A. That's amazing, don't change a thing! Thank you for the feedback!
Q. Its been a long time since I was in a school but One other thing I know its bothered me but Its also helped. Its being very careful with my hands. Grabbing a handful an pulling yourself into this position isn't going to be a good thing or enjoyable for a woman. We had 1 guy in class that got in trouble. We didn't here the full conversation between them an the instructor but he wound up coming to a different class That she wasn't in. I dont know if he was doing it on purpose or what. An i know its part of it, your going to be kinda all over the place when transitioning. Like take the back, your hands are just going to be in that area. But I've always been careful of my hands w whenever I'm rolling with a woman. Witch helped in the beginning cause it made me slow down, Think about how i was going to move and checking my position. I couldn't just go all out. I was really good at getting the arm bar. But I couldn't tell you how I got there. So from a womans perspective is this something you even think about. Or what
Skidd (5/10/2018 6:55 AM)
A. Perfect, thank you for sharing!
Q. And I have been training a lot of guys who taught me see me more sexual but I just want to train with at random training partner
cheche (9/14/2017 10:25 AM)
A. There's not much you can do other than choose your partners carefully and directly address your discomfort with your partner and the instructor. Sometimes, one partner (of either gender) will perceive inappropriate pressure or touching when the other partner is oblivious to it. Either way, the best option is to change partners.
Gracie University 1
Q. Every time roll no one wants to roll with me what can I do
cheche (9/13/2017 4:16 PM)
A. Every situation is unique. If other students don't want to train with you, maybe look for a different school.
Q. What does "Agro" mean? Am I hearing this right? (Agro Ego???) Just not sure what this word means, never heard it before.
Thornhill (3/8/2017 9:23 PM)
A. Being too crazy and out of control!
Q. Hi. I have been training at a CTC for some months and in nearly every way it has been the best training experience I have had. HOWEVER, there is one student whose behaviour is no less than stalking me on the mat. Despite a ring on my finger, this guy is not relenting, and throughout all my months there he puts himself in my field of vision, or, comes almost over to say hi and then scarpers off before I have a chance to reply, or challenge him about his behaviour. Because all he has mainly done is hovering around me in some way and not really e.g. attacked me physically in any way, the instructor's hands are tied from taking any active action to rein in the behaviour of this person. I accept that jiu-jitsu is a contact, combat sport, but what policies are there to protect those who attend classes only to train, and what controls are there towards those who wish not to respect another student's boundaries? Thank you.
The Scrapper (10/24/2016 5:14 PM)
A. We address this as part of instructor training, but every case is unique. Discuss this with the CTC instructor as they are on the scene and will have the best perspective on how to proceed.
Gracie University 1
Q. Great video, but you missed a couple of things. 1) I'm always being told "keep your head against his chest" and women have these things on their chests called breasts and you're not supposed to touch them. I always worry that women will get upset about certain positions/transitions. 2) You watch this video, tell yourself she's just a training partner, start rolling with this beautiful training partner and you get excited. Hasn't happened, but it is a huge fear. Maybe you could post a part 2 video because I am sure millions of guys hace these two concerns.
T-Dawg83 (8/9/2016 11:14 AM)
A. The bottom line is that you must keep yourself totally focused on the technique and the training. If you can't do it, then you should find another partner for the sake of both participants.
Gracie University 1
Q. Thank you for this video. Do you have any recommendations on how to become comfortable with a training partner of the opposite sex? I feel like even though I am now more comfortable asking a woman to be my training partner, there may still be some techniques that she would be uncomfortable with me doing. Am I wrong?
Jeremyewright (1/30/2016 11:58 AM)
A. Just stay focused on the Jiu-Jitsu and it's all good!
Q. I've surched the site high and low for a warm up/stretching routines. Am I missing something?
Bobbi (1/14/2015 7:48 PM)
A. We like to review previously learned techniques, nice and slow, as a warm up.
Q. How much time does one have to train I am a personal trainer nutrition expert thanks
mickie mouse (9/24/2014 11:12 PM)
A. That's up to the individual. Train as much as you like.
Q. i believe women do need this more then us men! this video should be shared on every jiu jitsu related website. my wife loved it. thank you.
osh-u-jala (9/23/2014 12:46 AM)
A. Agreed, thanks!
Q. Very relevant video, Mr. & Mrs. Gracie. Thanks, and congratulations to you both!
Stymie (6/4/2014 12:56 PM)
A. Thanks for the support!
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